Government & Politics
12:37 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

In Harrisburg, a Revived Effort to Downsize the State Legislature

Proposals to shrink the size of the state Legislature are back before lawmakers.

The Speaker of the House is reintroducing his plan from last year to cut 203-member House by 50 seats.
    
Last year his plan passed the House, but only after language to also reduce the size of the 50-member Senate.
    
The Senate didn’t advance the proposal.
    
Drew Crompton, spokesman for the Senate President Pro Tem, said separating the bids to downsize into two chamber-specific proposals may increase the likelihood that one will go all the way to the governor’s desk.

"Some of the reason why we did not act upon the bill is because I think in light of the shrinking of the size of the – not just the House, but also the Senate," he said.

The Senate Majority Leader supports a separate proposal to shrink the size of the Legislature, though the numbers differ from the House proposals.

Proponents of downsizing say it would make the General Assembly more efficient.  

But opponents have voiced fears a smaller body would mean more concentrated power in the hands of leadership and say fewer lawmakers will mean diminished representation for constituents.